Location-based Advertising

Location-based advertising has become a popular way for businesses to suggest products, services, special discounts or offers to people based on their location. Through mobile technology and applications like Foursquare or Facebook Places, people are able to “check-in” to various businesses and retail establishments as well as opt-in to receive sale and discount information via SMS text messages or small mobile-sized ads from their favorite stores when they are in the vicinity. It is predicted that mobile advertising could generate over $7 by the end of 2014, and as this new form of advertising grows, that number may be just the beginning.

Advertising via mobile devices takes a lot of the fuss out of typical advertising campaigns. Since most location-based advertising requires the recipient to own a smart phone or other mobile device with Internet access, it has become more of a challenge to convert high-dollar ad campaigns into ads that are delivered on screens typically smaller than the palm of the hand. Still, advertisers are jumping on location-based advertising because of its potential to reach the growing market of smart phone and mobile device users.

One of the big benefits of location-based advertising is the impact it can have on small businesses with small advertising budgets. By advertising customer incentives through Foursquare, Yelp or Facebook Pages, businesses not only gain new customers and encourage repeat customers, but they can also engage customers in a way that standard advertising methods cannot by tailoring messages to a person’s interest and location. This benefits the small business because of the ability to target local customers, potentially drawing their business away from national chains that are able to spend a large amount of money on print, tv, radio or Internet advertising.

This new area of advertising also opens up different opportunities for those seeking a degree in advertising, since the market is newly emerging. Advertising students have the best chance of assimilating the newest technologies and push for location-based advertising over the more established methods of print, television and radio and even Internet advertising.

Location-based advertising is a concept that is still in its infancy, and depends greatly on the continual purchase and usage of smart phones or other Internet-enabled mobile devices. Many industries will benefit from the custom advertising potential that the technology supports, and in the future, more and more advertisers will likely be turning to ways to reach customers directly, with the information they want.

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